This space has been fairly quiet of late, as I have been deeply involved in growing and transitioning a number of businesses, ventures, and projects. I thought I’d take a moment to update all of you loyal readers about what I’m up to and in a subsequent post I will share what you can expect from Pardon the Disruption going forward. I’m sure I’m missing things in this update, but this covers much of what’s going on for me at the moment.
Eaglon. A lot of my work time has focused on this new media company that I founded last year. I’m proud to say we have a number of properties already in production, including Cork & Knife, Start Rocket, and Media Bullseye (the last one in partnership with CustomScoop).
Of these, Media Bullseye has matured quite quickly in just a short 60 days or so to become a leading source of information and commentary on the changing communications landscape. It has attracted some tremendous writers and guests for its Media Bullseye Radio feature. Sarah Wurrey and Jen Zingsheim from CustomScoop have contributed significantly to this rapid development. I’m proud of what we have achieved this far and excited about our plans for the future.
In Cork & Knife, I have discovered a real talent in Lauren Schulz who initially came on board last year to write one column a week. It quickly became three columns weekly. Just recently, she has agreed to take on some of the editorial responsibilities for the site, helping to recruit and manage writers. The quality of content we’re producing for this publication has been quite high, and we have some important developments on the horizon as well.
The newest publication, Start Rocket, started just this week but I have been fortunate to be able to quickly recruit a strong cadre of correspondents who will be covering a wide range of companies, events, and perspectives in the coming weeks and months.
In addition to these, there are several more on the drawing board, and I’m in discussions with a number of individuals and companies about creating more publications on a partnership basis. The future of the Eaglon model is strong, and I expect to spend the majority of my time in 2008 focused on these efforts.
CustomScoop. The company I co-founded back in 2000 continues to be strong, offering a wide range of self-service media monitoring and full-service media analysis for customers from solo practitioners to Fortune 10 companies. Over the years my role has evolved, and today I remain active in developing a vision, guiding product development, and serving as the public face for the company (unfortunate, perhaps).
In 2008, you can expect to see a number of significant product announcements from CustomScoop, and we will continue our aggressive outreach activities in the new media universe. We have been proud to support things like For Immediate Release with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson and Bryan Person’s Social Media Breakfast, and we will keep it up this year.
American University. Some of you may know that I am a graduate of American University. In recent years, I have become increasingly involved with the school as a donor and volunteer. My current activities include service on the School of Public Affairs Advisory Council. In addition, I recently started a blog called Beyond Ward Circle (named after a traffic circle that marks one corner of the main campus) focused on content for and about fellow alumni. This has proven to be a great way to reconnect with old friends, meet new contacts, and develop support for the University.
I have already promised to increase my involvement in 2008, and I will provide periodic updates on significant developments for those who may be interested.
AOS Ventures. I remain active with this small angel investing group that I began with a few partners a couple of years ago. We target 1-2 investments per year, so this isn’t a huge time commitment, but it does enable me to spend time getting to know entrepreneurs and their ideas.
The Rest of the Bucket. I’m not building a Bucket List in the sense of the current movie of that name, but rather here are some of the other things that I’m involved with these days:
* Photography – Like CC Chapman, I’m committed to stepping up my photographic efforts this year. It has the benefit of being something I like to do, as well as something that meshes nicely with many of my new media efforts. As a little added bonus, as I get heavier lenses, tote around more equipment, and get more active with seeking photography opportunities, it gets me out of my desk chair and moving around which is a good thing for me.
* Cooking – I’m still passionate about cooking and like to put on events for family, friends, and colleagues. I cooked for about 100 people at our annual Holiday Cocktail Party, and just recently for a sit-down dinner for 30 CustomScoopers at my house. Fortunately, in both cases I got some help from friends who enjoy cooking as much as I do. I expect similar events to keep me busy in my "free" time in 2008. Not nearly as healthy as the photography, unfortunately.
* Reading – I don’t manage to consume as many books as Brad Feld seems to be able to, but I very much enjoy reading and try to make sure I maintain a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction. This is one of those passions I have had as far back as I can remember and will have for as long as I am able.
* Downtime – I don’t balance very well as my business partners, colleagues, employees, and family will all likely agree. Typically, I am either working or thinking about work. In recent years, I have begun to get a little smarter about this and realize that it isn’t healthy from any perspective. So I know schedule more downtime, both in the course of a week and on a biannual basis. I take a week each in the spring and fall for a Think Week where I decompress and plan ahead for the next 6 months. I take several weeks of vacation a year where I try to work as little as possible. It’s an improvement, but I can do even better in 2008.
Family. I leave this for the end not because it is least important, but rather because it is something that I don’t address much in this space. I try to raise the curtain a bit on personal issues on Pardon the Disruption, but for the most part I don’t shine the spotlight on it, and that’s how it is likely to remain. Suffice to say with two little boys (ages 6 and 3), my wife and I have our hands full on the home front. With my extensive travel schedule, I remain amazed yet grateful that my wife has been able to survive the onslaught these two mount on a daily basis.